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Flyers get Kimmo Timonen back as Steve Mason starts in net vs. Columbus

Kimmo Timonen celebrates his goal vs. Boston on Sunday
Kimmo Timonen celebrates his goal vs. Boston on SundayPhoto by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

When the NHL scheduled the Columbus Blue Jackets to be in Philadelphia in early April, they probably didn’t think the game would have major implications for both teams. They were wrong.

The Blue Jackets enter the Wells Fargo Center tonight clinging to the second and final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference sitting just one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs and two points up on the Washington Capitals. They have won each of their last two matchups against the Flyers, both at home, marking the first time in franchise history they have beaten the Flyers twice in the same season.

As for the Flyers, they know what is at stake. They sit just four points up on the Blue Jackets for third place in the Metropolitan Division and are three points behind the New York Rangers for second place with two games in hand.

Philadelphia will get the services of defenseman Kimmo Timonen back tonight against Columbus. Timonen missed Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues with what the team was calling an upper-body injury. He took a puck to the chin in Sunday’s loss to the Boston Bruins.

In net for the Flyers will be goaltender Steve Mason who will face his former team for just the second time in his career. In Mason’s first start against Columbus on December 19th, he allowed four goals on 29 shots but the Flyers used five third-period goals, including Claude Giroux’s 100th of his career, to win 5-4.

It was one year ago today that general manager Paul Holmgren traded goaltender Michael Leighton and a 2015 fifth-round pick in the NHL Entry Draft to the Blue Jackets in exchange for Mason. The deal has paid off for Philadelphia and now Mason gets to face his former team on the anniversary of his departure.

Puck drop from the Wells Fargo Center is slated for just after 7:00 pm.